When a dog comes into your life, you immediately want to know that you are taking good care of him. This means learning how to take care of your dog and meet his basic needs to ensure his health and happiness.
Proper nutrition, preventative veterinary care, health monitoring, grooming, a place to call your own, and plenty of exercise and affection will create an environment in which your dog can thrive.
Fortunately, all of these items are relatively easy to provide your puppy.
Before you begin
The proper care of the dog must be approached from the right perspective; Having a dog should not be a responsibility, but an experience that enriches your life and that of your dog.
Like humans, dogs need food, water, and shelter to survive. But they also need physical care, mental stimulation and nutrition to thrive.
This is an important part of keeping your dog healthy and safe, and is the foundation for a long and happy life with your dog.
What you need
- Good quality dog food
- One bed
- Exercise time
- Relationship with the veterinarian
- Care and affection
- Proper feeding
A healthy and balanced diet is an essential part of your dog’s basic care. Choose a quality diet that your pet likes.
You may not need to spend a lot of money on a top-notch general diet, but you shouldn’t skimp either.
If you decide to develop your own diet, consult your veterinarian first to find out what options you have. Studies show that the vast majority of recipes in books or on the Internet are nutritionally incomplete or unbalanced.
Next, do little food tastings, until you’re sure your dog really likes them, and schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian to make sure you’re meeting all of your dog’s nutritional needs.
Once you’ve found a tasty diet, watch your dog’s reaction for the first few weeks. A drop in energy, gastrointestinal problems or lack of hair may require a change in diet.
If you change your pet’s food, be sure to do it gradually, mix some of the old food with the new one to avoid indigestion or anorexia.
It’s also a good idea to consult your veterinarian about the diet, especially if you notice any changes in your dog’s health.
Water is also essential to keep your dog healthy. Make sure your dog always has access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water.
Your own space
Dogs are social animals and are generally not happy if they are excluded from the family unit. In some cases, dogs need to live outside, but most dogs are fine if they can be indoors with people.
Your dog should have his own space at home, such as a kennel or bed. Here your dog can relax when the going gets too difficult. Establish ground rules, enforce prohibited areas in your home and welcome your dog in areas where it is allowed.
If your dog is outside, leave him in a temperature-controlled kennel. Never leave your dog unattended outside, especially if it is very hot or cold, as this can have serious health consequences.
Keep your dog healthy with regular exercise and preventive veterinary care. Establish an exercise routine, even if it’s just a walk around a couple of streets each day.
Depending on his breed, your dog may need more exercise to burn off excess energy and stay healthy.
Try visiting the vet a couple of times a year to check on your pet’s condition. Many times, potential problems can be detected and treated before your dog shows signs of illness.
In a few visits, your veterinarian will be able to make recommendations for any health, diet, or behavior issues.
All dogs need basic grooming, such as bathing, brushing, and nail trimming. Some dogs even need regular haircuts.
Find a trusted groomer or learn how to brush your dog at home. Next, make a grooming plan that fits your dog’s lifestyle and stick to it.
Exercise your dog
Dogs need training and perseverance, proper training is essential for your dog’s quality of life.
Choose a training plan that fits your lifestyle and your dog’s needs, and stick to it.
You can choose to attend a training class with a professional trainer, or teach your dog the training yourself.
In either case, reinforce your dog’s good behavior and never punish him when he inevitably makes a mistake.
Punishment can backfire and reduce your dog’s ability to trust. Be consistent and you will see positive results.
Maintaining a human-dog relationship is vital to your dog’s development and is an important element of basic dog care that many people overlook. Remember that dogs are social animals and need to interact with humans.
Take time throughout the day to interact with your dog, pet your dog, play with toys, talk, take walks or go by car. This will strengthen and maintain this relationship.
Give your dog something to do when he needs to be alone for a long period of time, chew toys can help stave off boredom.
All the elements of basic dog care can be tailored to your needs and your dog’s acceptance. For example, many dog owners consider crate training essential, and their dogs spend most of their time alone.
Others prefer a more open life, teaching their dogs to follow house rules and not to use crates.
You must be patient with your dog and try not to make too many drastic changes at once. Many dogs like routine, and any alteration of it can cause behavioral problems.
If you have doubts about your dog’s basic needs, ask your veterinarian for advice. In addition to health issues, veterinarians want to make sure the animals in their care are as happy as possible, and most are willing to help you with any health issues for your dog.
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